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 Header Item Order of Business (Continued)
 Header Item Ministerial Rota for Parliamentary Questions: Motion
 Header Item Estimates for Public Service 2016
 Header Item Topical Issue Matters
 Header Item Ceisteanna - Questions
 Header Item Cabinet Committee Meetings

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 931 No. 3

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(Speaker Continuing)

[The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny] In respect of the taxation, the Minister for Finance put in a gap year for farmers-----

Deputy Martin Ferris: Information on Martin Ferris Zoom on Martin Ferris I asked about the aid package.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny -----who experienced a year like this one where grain was impossible to take out of fields in many places in the country.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I am concerned about the future of the technological universities Bill and the impact on proper regional development unless the legislation is brought before the Dáil quite soon. Is it true that the Independent members of the Government are vetoing the Bill? It is absolutely vital to develop our institutes of technology in all our major cities and towns, particularly in the regions, if we are going to have a greater power to attract investment and industry led by the IDA. We want to see more investment in industry but without the technological universities Bill I am concerned that very little investment will be attracted to the regions in future.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I have not heard that any member of the Independent Alliance was opposed to the technological universities Bill.

Deputy Brendan Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin Where is it?

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton That is the word on the street.

Deputy Kevin Boxer Moran: Information on Kevin Boxer Moran Zoom on Kevin Boxer Moran It must be a big street.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The Boxer is a very strong advocate of it along with a lot of others.

Deputy Brendan Howlin: Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin It is what some of the Taoiseach's Fine Gael colleagues told a meeting in the south east.

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Senator McFadden and Deputy Moran are very strongly in favour of it. It does not apply.

Deputy Joan Burton: Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton That is what they are telling people in Fine Gael. They might not be telling the Taoiseach.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher We have to have some order.

Deputy Paschal Donohoe: Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe He is well informed. Deputy Burton should not worry.

Ministerial Rota for Parliamentary Questions: Motion

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in the Order of the Dáil of 6th May, 2016, setting out the rota in which Questions to members of the Government are to be asked, Questions for oral answer, following those next set down to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, shall be set down to Ministers in the following temporary sequence:
Taoiseach and Minister for Defence

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs
whereupon the sequence established by the Order of 6th May, 2016, shall continue with Questions to the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality.”

  Question put and agreed to.

Estimates for Public Service 2016

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I move the following Further Revised Estimates:



Vote 29 - Communications, Climate Action and Environment (Further Revised Estimate).
That a sum not exceeding €228,486,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2016, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, including certain services administered by that Office, and for payment of certain grants, and for the payment of certain grants under cash-limited schemes, and that a sum not exceeding €14,328 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.
Vote 33 - Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Further Revised Estimate).
That a sum not exceeding €370,040,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2016, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, including certain services administered by that Office, and for payment of certain subsidies and grants, and that a sum not exceeding €6,158,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.
Vote 34 - Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Further Revised Estimate).
That a sum not exceeding €1,357,441,000 be granted to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2016, for the salaries and expenses of the Office of the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, including grants to Local Authorities, grants and other expenses in connection with housing, water services, miscellaneous schemes, subsidies and grants, and that a sum not exceeding €32,000,000 be granted by way of the application for capital supply services of unspent appropriations, the surrender of which may be deferred under Section 91 of the Finance Act 2004.

  Votes put and agreed to.

Topical Issue Matters

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Pat the Cope Gallagher Zoom on Pat the Cope Gallagher I wish to advise the House of the following matters in respect of which notice has been given under Standing Order 29A and the name of the Member in each case: (1) Deputy Thomas Byrne - use of surplus Department of Education and Skills land in County Meath; (2) Deputy Eugene Murphy - the provision of home care packages in CHO area 2 - Roscommon, Galway and Mayo; (3) Deputies Brendan Griffin and Pat Buckley - gynaecological services delays at Cork University Maternity Hospital; (4) Deputy Jim Daly - funding streams for capital infrastructure at farmers markets; (5) Deputy David Cullinane - concerns with capacity at University Hospital Waterford and outsourcing to Cork; (6) Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin - funding for Lakeview acute mental health unit at Naas hospital, County Kildare; (7) Deputy Frank O'Rourke - when Orkambi will be available to Irish patients; (8) Deputy Dessie Ellis - the need for a primary health care centre in Finglas, Dublin; (9) Deputy Marc MacSharry - the relocation of the Department of Social Protection's information section from Sligo to Dublin; (10) Deputy Peter Burke - the relocation of Westmeath Civil Defence; (11) Deputy Mick Barry - expansion of the waste facility at Churchfield in Cork; (12) Deputy Charlie McConalogue - the delay with issuing payments to farmers; (13) Deputies Sean Fleming, Alan Kelly, Brian Stanley - the HIQA report on Midlands Regional Hospital, Portlaoise; (14) Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett - issues with Tusla framework for assessing the needs of children with disabilities; (15) Deputy Paul Murphy - the recent referendum result in Italy; (16) Deputy Martin Ferris - to discuss the trophy hunting of red deer in Killarney National Park; (17) Deputy Catherine Connolly - maidir le cinneadh Údarás na hOllscoille i nGaillimh deireadh a chur leis an riachtanas Gaeilge a bheith ag an chéad Uachtarán eile den Ollscoil; (18) Deputy Mick Wallace - to discuss the fact that Cerberus, the American vulture fund which purchased Project Eagle from NAMA in 2014, paid €1,900 tax on the €77 million profits made by the company on Project Eagle in 2015; and (19) Deputy Mattie McGrath - the need for the Minister for Health to address the four year delay in children accessing ENT services in County Tipperary.

The matters raised by Deputies Thomas Byrne, Eugene Murphy, Dessie Ellis and Paul Murphy have been selected for discussion.

Ceisteanna - Questions

Cabinet Committee Meetings

 1. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny when the Cabinet committee on infrastructure, environment and climate action last met. [36050/16]

 2. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny when the Cabinet committee on infrastructure, environment and climate action last met. [37719/16]

 3. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny the number of times the Cabinet committee on infrastructure, environment and climate action has met. [38302/16]

 4. Deputy Eamon Ryan Information on Eamon Ryan Zoom on Eamon Ryan asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny when the next meeting of the Cabinet committee on infrastructure, environment and climate action will take place. [38634/16]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 4, inclusive, together.

The Cabinet committee on infrastructure, environment and climate action has met twice since it was reconstituted in June. It held its first meeting on 7 July and met again on Tuesday, 25 October. The committee addresses the climate change challenge in terms of domestic policy and in relation to Ireland's EU and international obligations. In addition, the committee drives the development and delivery of infrastructure in support of sustainable economic growth and decarbonisation. It will meet again next week on 12 December.

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: Information on Richard Boyd Barrett Zoom on Richard Boyd Barrett What discussions, if any, is the committee having on strategic development zones? I had a briefing yesterday at Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on the Cherrywood strategic development zone and what is, in effect, the building of a new town in south Dublin in my own constituency. This morning I was at a meeting of the Irish Glass Bottle Site Housing Action Group, which was discussing the strategic development zone on the Poolbeg Peninsula with particular reference to the Irish Glass Bottle Company site. Is the Taoiseach looking at the detail of the strategic infrastructure project areas? In particular, does the Taoiseach have a plan to ensure that, out of these very significant strategic development areas, we are going to get for the public the public and affordable housing we need to meet the disastrous housing emergency we now face? The evidence suggests we are not.

The Irish Glass Bottle Site Housing Action Group tells me that NAMA will not meet its representatives even though it has asked it to do so several times. They want to meet the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Deputy Simon Coveney, and they want the Irish Glass Bottle Company site handed over to Dublin City Council to ensure that we do not get a miserable 10% of so-called social housing, but rather get at least 75% public and affordable housing. Their fear is that NAMA is going to flog that site off to developers and all we will get is a miserable 10% when we are the ones who are putting in place all the infrastructure the private developers will gain from. Similarly, the local authority is looking for €100 million from the new infrastructure fund for Cherrywood so that we can get the 8,000 residential units there. Given that this was a site sold by NAMA to Hines, a US property fund, are we only going to get a miserable 10% of these 8,000 units for the public when we have paid and will pay hundreds of millions for infrastructure? They are going to make an absolute fortune.

Should the Taoiseach not insist that we get a bigger proportion than 10% of Cherrywood for public and affordable housing? That 10% is a miserable figure which means these developers are getting a free lunch. I want some commitment from the Taoiseach that they will not get a free lunch and that the public will get something back on these strategic development zones.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams According to President-elect Donald Trump of the USA, global warming is a hoax. According to the experts, hard data shows that global climate change presents the gravest threat to the future of humanity. On this island where we live, sea levels in the Irish Sea are rising by 3 cm per decade. While that may not sound like an awful lot, it means we will see a 0.5 m rise in the next 50 years. As many of our major cities and towns are along the coast, the environmental, economic and human cost associated with rising sea levels and climatic change presents huge and life-changing challenges. We saw it along the Shannon catchment area with the impact on families. One thing that struck me in speaking to many of those families was the degree of local knowledge, craft and eolas about the river and its environs. In my own constituency, in particular in parts of Dundalk, we also suffered serious flooding. I spoke to some of the affected families recently and they are dreading the winter. They are living in a state of stress and anxiety. There are no provisions that I can establish to deal with flooding issues on the Ardee Road at Mounthamilton and Bellurgan, which is just outside the town. While the CFRAM plans when enacted will, of course, alleviate some of these difficulties, that is years down the line. I am asking what plans the Government has to deal with this winter. I walked the Flurry River with local people who say it needs to be desilted and that the sluice gates need to be fixed. The local authority says it does not have the money for any of that. Will the Taoiseach outline the Government's preventative plans for potential flooding risks this winter? Has additional funding been allocated to local authorities?

Can the Taoiseach speak to the recent EPA report on urban wastewater treatment which reveals that ten out of our 171 large urban areas do not meet EU requirements to provide secondary treatment to reduce the risk of pollution?


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